Finding mold in new construction is not only frustrating but costly. Yes, it can happen, but mold—which can harm the structure of your home and family’s health—IS avoidable, if you know what to look for.

How Does New Drywall Attract Mold?

Recent findings suggest that some instances of mold in new drywall start at the manufacturing stage. Drywall is made of gypsum plaster (which consists of recycled drywall reclaimed from other building sites) pressed between two thick sheets of paper made from recycled newspapers.

It appears the paper exterior is the culprit behind mold growth in new construction.

To find the cause, researchers disinfected wallboard discs to remove any traces of mold or bacteria. Then, they wet them with sterilized water and sealed the disks to prevent air contamination. They were incubated for 70 days and—at the end of the incubation period—three types of mold were discovered: Aspergillus, Chaetomium, and Stachybotrys chartarum.

How did this happen? These findings suggested that “these three fungal species are already embedded in the materials, presumably in the paper/carton layer surrounding the gypsum core.”

How Can You Prevent Moldy Drywall In Your New Home?

In recent years, drywall has been used in construction because it’s a cheaper, quicker alternative than the traditional plaster and lath used in older homes.

If you are a mold sensitive person, or just concerned about the possibility of mold infestation, you may want to look into buying a home built before 1970. The plaster and lath used in older homes sheds moisture from water damage quickly. In other words, if there were a leak or flooding in the structure’s history, water would not have been trapped in the walls and mold would not have proliferated.

Also, homes built before the energy crisis of the early ‘70s were not built to be airtight. They “breathe,” and the air inside dries faster because it’s exchanged with the outdoor air more quickly. Without moisture, mold spores can’t grow.

If buying an older home is not an option, consider mold resistant construction materials. They cost more initially, but in the long run, they are worth the price in prevention. Mold can’t grow without water, so be sure to get any leaks or flooding fixed, dried, and cleaned before moving in, and you if need any further information or help in detecting a mold problem, contact a mold remediation specialist.